Cockpit task management errors : a design issue for intelligent pilot-vehicle interfaces Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qn59q7812

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  • In conformity with advanced cockpit automation technology, modern pilots have become airborne system managers and have to satisfactorily manage complex sets of tasks to complete a flight mission safely. Funk's (1991) normative cockpit task management (CTM) theory defines CTM functions as the initiation, monitoring, prioritization, allocating of resources to, and termination of multiple and concurrent tasks. Though pilots are equipped with highly sophisticated, automated devices, human error is still cited as the major cause in 60 to 90 percent of past air incidents and accidents. Among the different types of human errors in this setting, this study identified and classified the CTM errors appearing in past air incidents and accidents using the following methods: 1) study of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) air accident reports, 2) study of the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) incident reports, and (3) experiments using a generic two-engine, low-to-moderate-fidelity 3-D flight simulator. The study of NTSB air accident reports indicated that CTM errors were present in 25 percent of 300 reviewed accidents, and errors in the CTM task initiation category constituted the largest relative portion (37%). In the 144 ASRS incident reports extracted from a special request (ASRS, 1991), and from studies by Monan (1979) and Porter (1981), 15 percent revealed prominent CTM errors, and the largest portion of errors fell into the CTM task monitoring category (45%) . Laboratory experimentation based on simulation indicated that resource requirement of task context was the most significant factor that influenced subjects' CTM performance for the following two dependent variables: time to initiate a task and task prioritization score. A qualitative pattern analysis of the subjects' performances revealed that subjects performed salient tasks first in a serial manner. Based upon these three error studies, design guidelines for a Pilot-Vehicle Interface with consideration of CTM functions were provided.
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